John Bowe has charged to a home-town Pole Position in the opening round of the Gulf Western Oils Touring Car Masters Series today at Symmons Plains.
The Tasmanian racing legend grabbed his 52nd career TCM pole aboard his Holden Torana SL/R 5000, edging out the similar Torana of Queenslander Ryan Hansford in a tight session.
CLICK HERE for qualifying results from Symmons Plains.
In warm conditions, Bowe’s 56.32s flyer was only 0.2 seconds slower than the Symmons Plains qualifying record and saw the five-time TCM champion top a competitive field stacked with plenty of potential winners.
Behind the Torana front-row lockout, Launceston driver Adam Garwood qualified third for Whiteline Racing, just edging out the ever-popular Valliant Pacer of Cameron Tilley for second-row bragging rights.
The pair were split by less than a tenth of a second as they look to chase the flying Toranas.
Steven Johnson will start from the inside of the third row in ‘Tru Blu Mark II’ – his XD Falcon that replicates the same car his legendary father, Dick Johnson, raced at Symmons Plains 40 years ago.
The stunning Blue Falcon made it four different brands in the top five, reflecting the diverse TCM grid.
Jim Pollicina was sixth, making it three Toranas in the top five – a surprise given the long straights at Symmons Plains were expected to suit the more powerful 5.8-litre cars, rather than the more nimble Toranas.
Gerard McLeod was seventh aboard his VB Commodore in a personal best TCM effort, while Marcus Zukanovic (XD Falcon), Tony Karanfilovski (Ford Mustang) and the Mark King (Chevrolet Camaro RS), who returns to the category this weekend, completed the top-10.
Andrew Fisher, Greg Garwood and Pete Burnitt completed the runners, Paul Freestone failing to record a time.
The Gulf Western Oils Touring Car Masters Series launches straight into racing on Monday, the TCM Trophy Race set for 12:45pm to be followed by the first championship race of the season at 15:40pm local time.
The Trophy race will be streamed via the 7+ app, while Race 1 of the season will be live on 7mate. New Zealand audiences can watch via Sky Sports NZ and international audiences via motorsport.tv.